Are You Smarter Than a Millennial?The challenges of generations working and learning together Daniel Phelan and Sarah Wickett CHLA May 25, 2008
Morning Agenda • Generational Characteristics • Adult Learning Principles • Learning Styles • 10:00 – 10:30 Break • Learning Style Assessment • Matching Different Learning Styles • Determining Your Learning Style • 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
Afternoon Agenda • Diversity in the Workplace • Harnessing the power of different generations • 2:30 – 3:00 Break • Group Work (How generationally friendly is your workplace?) • Action Plan • 4:30 – 5:00 Conclusion and Final Questions
Objectives • By the end of this session you will be able to: • Identify a variety of learning styles and approaches to the workplace • Understand the differences among generations at work • Learn how diverse styles can be accommodated in the workplace • Look for opportunities to use the strengths of every employee • Interact with different generations to achieve optimum results • Explore strategies for working in a generationally diverse workplace • Identify and harness the positive potential of multigenerational collaborations • Be aware of resources for further study
Defining Questions: • Do you read blogs? • Do you listen to podcasts? • Do you watch videos on YouTube? • Do you know what Twitter is? • Do you use Facebook or MySpace? • Write on a piece of paper: • Your generation • 3 defining events of your generation • Share with the group
Generation • “… a group of individuals born and living about the same time… a group of generally contemporaneous individuals regarded as having common cultural or social characteristics and attitudes…” • The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. • Values and attitudes are influenced by shared experiences in their formative years. • David Remson - Presentation at the National ESP Conference in November 2006
Contrasts Across Generations • Attitudes • Comfort with Technology • Communication Styles • Expectations • Work/Life Preferences • Work Styles
Why Consider Generations at Work? • Possible conflicts due to different values, views, ways of working, talking, and thinking. • Different approaches can lead to creativity in the workplace.
Generation: years of birth Percentage of Workforce Veterans: 1922 – 1943 5% of today’s workforce, but common through the CEO ranks Baby Boomers: 1943 – 1960 45% of today’s workforce - invented the 60 hour work week Generation X: 1961 – 1980 40% of today’s workforce - seeking a work/life balance Millennials: 1981 - 2000 10% of today’s workforce - eager to work and learn The Generations at Work
Veterans Generational Personality Like consistency and uniformity Like things on a grand scale Conformers Belief in logic, not magic Disciplined Past oriented and history absorbed Belief in law and order Conservative spending style From Zemke, 2000 (p37-40)
Veterans Core Values • Dedication • Hard Work • Conformity • Law and Order • Respect for Authority • Patience • Delayed Reward • Duty before Pleasure • Adherence to Rules • Honour • From Zemke, 2000 (p. 30)
Baby Boomers Generational Personality • Believe in growth and expansion • Think of themselves as stars of the show • Tend toward optimism • Team oriented • Personal gratification is important • Soul searchers • From Zemke, 2000 (p. 66-68)
Baby Boomers Core Values • Optimism • Team orientation • Personal gratification and personal growth • Health and wellness • Youth • Work • Involvement • From Zemke, 2000 (p68)
Generation X Generational Personality • Self-reliant • Seeking a sense of family • Looking for balance • Non-traditional ideas of time and space • Prefer informality • Casual approach to authority • Sceptical • Enjoy risk • Technologically savvy • From Zemke, 2000 (p. 98-102)
Generation X Core Values • Diversity • Thinking globally • Balance • Technoliteracty • Fun • Informality • Self-reliance • Pragmatism • From Zemke, 2000 (p.98)
Millennial Generational Personality • Special • Sheltered • Confident • Team-oriented • Achieving • Pressured • Conventional • Rule followers • From Howe & Strauss, 2000 (p. 43-44)
Millennial Core Values • Optimism • Civic duty • Confidence • Achievement • Sociability • Morality • Street smarts • Diversity • From Zemke, 2000 (p. 132)
A Vision of Students Today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o
What makes adult learners different from children? • Adults are: • Autonomous and self-directed • Goal oriented • Relevancy centered (why do I need to know this?) • Practical and problem solvers • Have accumulated life experiences
Ways Adults Learn • High participation • Collaborative environment • Based on past performance • Decide for themselves what is important • Expect information to be useful immediately
What this means for those who teach • Instruction for adults needs to focus more on process rather than content • Techniques include: case studies, role playing, simulations and self-evaluations • Instructors act more as facilitators or resources to learners
Critical Thinking • An essential tool of inquiry; purposeful, self-regulatory judgment that results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based. • A cognitive process based on reflective thought and a tolerance for ambiguity which has the following attributes: • Disciplined and self directed. • Oriented toward inquiry, analysis and critique. • Multidimensional and multilogical problem-solving rather than unidimensional, monological, or linear requisite knowledge and ability to generate options and make discriminating judgments.
Critical Thinking • Many elements have an impact on the ability to think critically – among them are learning styles
Field Dependent and Field Independent Learners • Many experimental studies have shown the impact of field-dependence and field-independence on the learning process and academic achievement.
Field Dependent and Field Independent Learners • According to Witkin, Moore, Goodenough, and Cox's (1977) definition, field independence is "the extent to which a person perceives part of a field as discrete from the surrounding field as a whole, rather than embedded in the field; or . . . the extent to which the person perceives analytically".
Field dependence-independence is value-neutral • It is the ability to distinguish key elements from a distracting or confusing background. • It has important implications for an individual’s cognitive behavior and for his/her interpersonal behavior.
Field dependence-independence is value-neutral • Field independent people tend to be more autonomous in relation to the development of cognitive restructuring skills and less autonomous in relation to the development of interpersonal skills. • Field dependent people tend to be more autonomous in relation to the development of high interpersonal skills and less autonomous in relation to the development of cognitive restructuring skills.
Field Dependent Learners • Perceive the world globally • Find it more difficult to solve problems • Highly sensitive • Attuned with their social environment • Prefer a “spectator” approach to learning • Talk focuses on other people • Tend to be attracted to social sciences
Field Independent Learners • View the world more analytically • Find it easier to solve problems • Favor learning by inquiry • Prefer independent study • Use many personal pronouns • Tend to be attracted to hard sciences • Males tend to be more field independent
Two Theorists • Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory • Not just a single “intelligence” but seven (later eight) • David Kolb (1981) Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory • Four main processes are used in learning • Kolb’s theory is one of the dominant approaches to categorizing cognitive styles
Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences • Linguistic (language skills). • Logical/mathematical (math and quantitative skills). • Musical (musical skills). • Spatial (skills used by painters, sculptors, and architects to manipulate and create forms). • Bodily kinesthetic (body control and manual dexterity as exemplified by athletes, dancers, and carpenters). • Interpersonal (the ability to understand the behavior and read the moods, desires, and intentions of others). • Intrapersonal (the ability to understand one’s own feelings and behaviors). • Naturalist intelligence enables human beings to recognize, categorize and draw upon certain features of the environment. It combines a description of the core ability with a characterization of the role that many cultures value
Building on Gardner's Multiple Intelligences • Winters (1995) and Wang (1996) provided the following summary of Gardener's Multiple Intelligences: • plays with words (Verbal/Linguistic) • plays with questions (Logical/Mathematical) • plays with pictures (Visual/Spatial) • plays with music (Music/Rhythmic) • plays with moving (Body/Kinesthetic) • plays with socializing (Interpersonal) • plays alone (Intrapersonal)
Kolb • Kolb's learning theory sets out four distinct learning styles (or preferences), which are based on a four-stage learning cycle.
Kolb's model works on two levels -a four-stage cycle • Concrete Experience - (CE) • Reflective Observation - (RO) • Abstract Conceptualization - (AC) • Active Experimentation - (AE)
Kolb's model’s second level is a four-type definition of learning styles, (each representing the combination of two preferred styles ) • Converging (AC/AE) • Assimilating (AC/RO) • Diverging (CE/RO) • Accommodating (CE/AE)
Kolb • Convergers • Rely most on abstract conceptualizing and active experimenting. • They like to find specific, concrete answers and move quickly to solution. • They are relatively unemotional and prefer dealing with things rather than with people. • Convergers often specialize in the physical sciences or engineering. They prefer learning tasks that have specific answers. • Assimilators • Rely most on abstract conceptualizing and reflective observation. • They like to integrate ideas and are more interested in theoretical concerns than in applications. • Assimilators tend to gravitate toward math and the physical sciences and like research and planning. • They prefer learning tasks that call for them to integrate material.
Kolb • Divergers • Rely on concrete experience and reflective observation. • They like to generate many ideas and enjoy working with people. • They often are attracted to such fields as counseling and consulting. • Divergers enjoy class discussion and working in groups. • Accommodators • Rely on concrete experience and active experimentation. • They take risks, are action oriented, like new experiences, and are very adaptable in new situations. • They prefer a hands-on approach and often are attracted to technical or business fields, such as marketing and sales.
Kolb • Kolb includes this 'cycle of learning' as a central principle his experiential learning theory, typically expressed as four-stage cycle of learning, in which 'immediate or concrete experiences' provide a basis for 'observations and reflections'. • These 'observations and reflections' are assimilated and distilled into 'abstract concepts' producing new implications for action which can be 'actively tested' in turn creating new experiences.
Kolb Kolb showed that learning styles could be seen on a continuum running from: • Concrete experience: • Being involved in a new experience • Reflective observation: • Watching others or developing observations about own experience • Abstract conceptualization: • Creating theories to explain observations • Active experimentation: • Using theories to solve problems, make decisions
Models of Teaching Pratt • There is no single, universal, best perspective on teaching adults • Improvements in instruction can focus on actions, intentions or beliefs
Perspectives on Teaching -Pratt • Transmission – teacher is the “expert”, the source of knowledge • Apprenticeship – teacher is a “coach”, demonstrating application of skills and knowledge • Developmental – teacher is a “guide”, bridging learning and moving the learner to the next level through thinking & problem-solving • Social reform – teacher is an “advocate”, translating learning into social, cultural, political or moral imperatives • Nurturing – teacher is a “friend”, boosting self-esteem and self-sufficiency of the learner
Differences between men’s and women’s learning styles • Perry, 1968 study of male undergrad students determined that males pass through a developmental sequence in their thinking: • Male students tend to see the world as “right/wrong” – one right answer • Diversity of opinion exists, but only so one right answer can be found
Differences between men’s and women’s learning styles • Diversity of opinion is temporary – the right answer just hasn’t been found yet • Diversity exists, but they would still prefer to know what is right • They come to understand that everyone has a right to their own opinions • Finally they develop a personal commitment to the relativistic world (other opinions exist – I can fight for my values and respect others and learn)
Women’s Ways of Knowing • Belenky et al (1986) • Study to determine how women fit into the “male” model • Not described as a “staged” sequence as Perry’s model, but acknowledges women move through styles of thinking as they mature and gain life experience.
Women’s Ways of Knowing • Silence – women students experience themselves as mindless, voiceless • Received knowledge – can receive knowledge, but cannot create it • Subjective knowledge – truth/knowledge are personal and intuited
Women’s Ways of Knowing • Procedural knowledge – investment in knowledge and applying objective procedures for obtaining and communicating knowledge • Constructed knowledge – women view all knowledge as contextual and can create knowledge subjectively and objectively